If you were to ask our parents, video games are a waste of time because they destroy young minds, can be addictive, and don’t represent a strong career path. However, if you would ask us, the gamers, we would be able to tell you that video games are a lot more than just entertainment.
Given that people who don’t understand the industry and its perks will downright deny our affirmation, I believe it’s best to provide a few examples of how games can be helpful for young minds.
A Fantastic Career Path
From game developers to graphic designers, programmers, and even testers, games offer a wide selection of career opportunities. After all, this is a 5.11 billion pounds industry in the UK alone and it is growing extremely fast in other developed countries.
To support this growth and the influx of new technologies in the niche, producers need qualified people to create, test and sell video games. So yes dear parents; this is a fantastic career path, with lots of perks and bonuses!
Experience the World
Some specialists (and again, parents) consider games as a way to escape reality. While in some cases this is true (and also why games can become addictive), they also represent a wonderful possibility to explore.
Some games will take you on a nature walk, with gorgeous maps where you have to figure out how to survive while others will simply test your skills for a certain job. For instance, there are games that teach you about being a soldier (like the Sniper games) but are also games that walk you through being a manager or leader. The possibilities are endless.
Believe it or not, games are great for skill sharpening! For instance, if you play a first-person shooter game, you’ll develop hand to eye coordination, strategy skills, and you will learn how to be more aware of your surroundings. Furthermore, these sorts of games help with the improvement of reaction times and keep you alert.
The same goes for racing games – they sharpen your sense and help you get used to the idea of driving at high speeds (not that you should do the same in real life!).
There are studies that proved it doesn’t matter if you are actually doing a physical activity or not. As long as you are focused on the matter at hand, the respective brain areas will fire up just like you would actually do the job.
So, as long as you are focused on the game, the brain will remain engaged and the connections between neurons will strengthen. Not to mention that there are games that will definitely keep players on their toes (the Happy Room game is a fantastic example here), which leads to several areas of the brain being engaged at once.
This hypothesis was scientifically proven by testing a standard video game on several people for a long period of time. As a result of playing video games, the brain gets bigger and its plasticity (possibility to change) increases.
Improves your Focus
If you often find yourself daydreaming or the mind wanders off after 5 minutes of someone speaking, video games may be a fantastic way to improve focus. Games teach us about staying on a task until it is complete and reward us when we do a good job. Furthermore, the beautiful worlds they create keep players motivated to explore further along which improves motivation as well.
Some studies also show that video games packed with the action may be useful in helping children with dyslexia improve their reading skills. That’s because action games keep the brain engaged and train the player to stay focused for long periods of time.
Finally, video games are a fantastic way to just forget about a bad day at work and enjoy a few minutes or hours of fun. There are people who use video games to battle with depression, so you can see why a quick game may brighten up a bad day.
The brain releases endorphins as you scour along your favorite map, and even if you’re just in the game for a few minutes, it helps to unwind. So don’t pack the console away; let games be a part of your life even if you don’t plan to become a full-time developer.